The Cure

by Sam Cain, age 12
The Cure Sam Cain is a 12 year old who goes to the Dwight-Englewood School. He enjoys reading, writing, and sports.

“My name is Logan Campbell. I am 16 years old. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota. I grew up worrying about the plague. I remember when I was 6 years old, hearing about it on the news. My younger sister, Olivia, was curled up next to me by the fireplace, crying. A lot of people cried that day.”

Prologue

The year is 2055. However, the world is not exactly paradise. First things first, the world is infested with a plague. “The” plague. It started about 10 years ago in St. Louis, Missouri. Some scientists were experimenting with some nuclear material. Let’s just say it didn’t end well. The nuclear tank exploded and it spilled all over. It seeped into the ground, into the rivers, and spread radiation into the air. From there, things got a lot worse. Within a week, we learned that there were serious side effects. They included horrible coughs, weakness, joint failure, heart failure, mental effects including going crazy. For example, many have lost all ability to think for themselves, and the disease has taken over their thought process. Some of the infected decided that it’s easier to die than deal with these effects. Those were only some of the many different side effects terrorizing the world.

Chapter 1

My name is Logan Campbell. I am 16 years old. I live in St. Paul, Minnesota. I grew up worrying about the plague. I remember when I was 6 years old, hearing about it on the news. My younger sister, Olivia, was curled up next to me by the fireplace, crying. A lot of people cried that day.

The plague spread rapidly, infecting more people than any other disease ever had. Many people have died. We all wear masks at all times, unless in an uninfected area. After the plague, things changed. The rules became less and less important, and survival became the most important objective. To live another day. Though I am 16, I already have a job. I work for a steel factory, so I get free food and protection. It isn’t exactly fun, but it’s a good way to live.

I enter the factory, ready for another day of work, just like any normal day. I walk over to get my gear, and start the new day. I stop, and stand still for a moment. Something is wrong. There is no noise coming from the streets. I hear a click. I recognize that sound from tests that the factory sometimes runs. It’s a bomb. 

“Everybody get down!” I yell. 

The building erupts into a fiery explosion.

I hear faint noises. I lift my head. My vision is very fuzzy. “Are you okay, are you alright?” I hear. It is my mother. 

“W-what happened?” I ask. My head hurts a lot. I can’t remember much.

“The factory was bombed by some rebels that have gone crazy. The enforcement police took care of them,” my mom replies. “Are you sure that you’re okay?” 

“Yes,” I say. “How long have I been out?” I feel like it has been a week, but I know that is foolish.

“About a day and a half,” she says. “Do you need anything?” 

“No, I’d just like to rest for a bit.” 

I need to think.

Chapter 2

I sit up, and rub my eyes. What I see doesn’t make sense. I am in some kind of prison cell, all alone. It is entirely made of metal, with a small window that seems to be made of some kind of see-through material. I finally begin to panic. 

How did I get here? Have I done something wrong, I think to myself. 

Before I can come up with an explanation, the metal door slides open. A man in a black suit and tie walks in. He looks very official. 

“Who are you?” I demand. “Where am I?”

“All of these questions will be explained,” says the man. “Just follow me.”

“Why should I follow you, and why can’t you answer my questions right here?” I yell.

“Let me start by telling you my name. I am Aaron Gates. And don’t worry, we have already informed your families about why you are here. I run this organization, that most call ARROW.”

“This is ARROW?” I ask. I have heard of them from the factory. They supposedly are trying to find a place for all of the uninfected to live. Now that I actually know where I am, I think I can at least follow this man.

“Yes, this is ARROW,” Aaron says. “Now please follow me, and I will explain why you are here.”

Chapter 3

I enter a large, dark room. There are 5 chairs set up, and 4 of them are occupied. Aaron leads me to the fifth seat, and then walks to the front of the room. Next to me is a boy with dark brown hair, and glasses. There are 2 girls next to him, and another boy on the far chair. They all look around the same age as me. I look back at Aaron, and he starts talking. 

“There is a reason that we brought the five of you here, and it is very important not just to us, but to the world. You 5 have a special immunity in your brains, that no other living organism has. This causes you to be immune to the Plague.” 

All of us just sit there, stunned. 

Aaron continues. “We have studied you ever since you got your first blood test at the age of 5. When we tested the blood with the Plague disease, only your blood did not react to it. That is why we brought you here. Now you may be wondering why all of you are around the same age. Well, that is because when the Plague broke out, the government put a chip in everyone’s brain, to track your health. The 5 of you got your chip on the same day, in the same place, and only 5 people got their chip there that day.” 

I don’t remember getting my chip. All of the memories before it got erased. Because of this, the government gives you the chip at the age of 4, one year before the blood test. We all still knew how to talk, and how things work, but we had no memories.

The boy next to me speaks. “Why does our chip make us immune to the Plague, then?”

“The chips that you got were broken, and we didn’t know it at the time. The broken chip caused something in your brain to malfunction, and immunity to the Plague was one of the side effects.” 

For the second time in a couple of minutes, we all look stunned.

“I understand all of this, but what exactly are we here for?” I ask.

Aaron smiles. “I was about to get to that part,” he says.

Chapter 4

“Your job is very simple, and it will not require a lot of hard work on your part. We will first take a sample of your blood to study, and hopefully we can find a way to make some kind of a cure. After that, your job here is over.”

“Wow,” I say. “That was a lot less complicated than I thought it would be.”

“Yes indeed. For you, it will not take much effort. Now I think we should get the blood samples sooner rather than later, shall we?” Aaron asks.

Aaron leads us through a long, stainless steel corridor. We eventually reach a small room made entirely out of glass. Aaron opens the door by entering a 4 digit code. He then opens the door and ushers the 5 of us in. He leads us to a bench, where we all take our seats. 

“Now not to worry, the blood samples will not hurt very much. Just stay calm, and it will be over very quickly,” Aaron says. 

He picks up a needle, with the ARROW logo imprinted on it. He then walks in my direction. “Hold out your arm please,” Aaron asks. 

I hold out my arm, and prepare for the needle. I watch it enter my arm, and take my blood along with it. It stings, but doesn’t hurt that badly. Aaron opens a drawer, and pulls out a bandage. He wraps it around my arm over the cut.

After Aaron finishes getting everyone’s blood samples, we are led to our quarters. “You will be given dinner shortly, and when you are done, you can just leave it outside of your rooms. We will come around and collect it. Please try and get some sleep after dinner, and if you need anything, there will be a speaker on your wall. Click on the gray button, and you will be able to directly speak to me,” Aaron says to us. “There will be restrooms in your quarters, and don’t hesitate to ask us for anything. Does anyone have any questions?” 

No one answers. It has been a long day, and I am very tired. I enter my quarters to try and get some sleep.

Chapter 5

I awake to the sound of birds chirping. It is very calm and peaceful here. Nothing seems to be exploding at the moment. I enter the restroom, and see that we have been provided with a toothbrush and toothpaste. I brush my teeth, and then lay back down on the bed. After a few minutes, the intercom makes an announcement. “Breakfast will be served in 10 minutes in the common room. There will be signs there to direct you to it. We have some important news.”  

I walk over to the door. It is a heavy, steel door, and it looks kind of like it belongs on a refrigerator. I swing it open and head to breakfast.

I reach the common room with some difficulty, because it turns out that there are 2 common rooms. Once I get to the correct room, I set down to find a plate of eggs and toast waiting for me. This would be the best breakfast that I have had in awhile. Once everyone gets to the common room, Aaron comes out of his office. 

“This is a very special day for ARROW,” he says, “thanks to the 5 of you, we have successfully developed a cure for the Plague.”

“Are you serious?” one of the girls asks. “That’s amazing!” I think of my family back at home. ARROW actually found a cure! My family, and everyone else, would be safe from all of this pain and suffering.

“It really—” Aaron gets cut off by a rumbling noise. All of the windows in the entire complex shatter. A bunch of people in black uniforms climb in the building. I run away from the wreckage and hide behind a wall. The intruders break into the ARROW laboratory. Half of the workers and immunes are lying on the ground, either dead or unconscious. The other half are hiding like me. I run farther away from the intruders and find a large TV screen. I run as fast as I can and slide behind it. I watch and see the intruders come out of the laboratory. They are holding a syringe with a purple-ish color. 

The cure! They are stealing the cure! I should probably do something to stop them, but there was nothing that I could do about it. The man holding the syringe grabbed onto a rope, and was pulled up and out of the building. The remaining intruders scrambled to all of the walls along the complex, and seemed to be placing something on them. Bombs, I realized. They were placing bombs! I had to leave now. 

I ran as fast as I could, faster than I ever had before, and looked for some place to leave the complex. I found a hole made by one of the bombs and ran at it as fast as I could. I raced along the broken floors, my only focus on making it outside. I raced past bullets and exploding walls and finally made it out of the building. I ran and ran until I couldn’t see the complex. I had to get out of there, or I would be killed. I raced along the forest and sprung out into the cold, winter wind.

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